Monday, March 22, 2010

Beef Stew

There is perhaps no better way to prepare a beef stew than with a long, slow simmer. The low, moist heat slowly breaks down the structure of the muscle tissue, tenderizing the meat. You just can't get that by rushing things.


• 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
• 2 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
• 2 large potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
• 1 to 1 1/2 cups peeled and diced rutabaga (about 1/2 small rutabaga)
• 1 cup fresh green beans, in bite-size pieces
• 1 pound beef stew-meat chunks
• 1 bay leaf
• 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
• 1 clove garlic, crushed
• 3 cups low-sodium beef stock
• 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
• 3/4 teaspoon salt
• 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
• Pepper to taste
• 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 2 teaspoons tomato paste


1. Put everything but the flour and the tomato paste in a slow cooker; stir to combine.

2. Cover and cook on the low setting for 8 to 9 hours or on high for 4 to 5, until the beef is tender and the potatoes are just fork tender.

3. Stir the stew once or twice as it cooks, if possible. About 30 minutes before serving, transfer a ladleful of the broth to a small mixing bowl.

4. Add the flour and tomato paste and whisk until smooth. Stir the mixture into the stew and cook for the remaining half hour. Makes 6 to 8 servings

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